Lebanese designer Krikor Jabotian talks classic glamour

The Lebanese designer is known for his dreamy ball gowns. Instagram
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Updated 06 October 2020

Lebanese designer Krikor Jabotian talks classic glamour

BEIRUT: Known for his dreamy ball gowns, Lebanese designer Krikor Jabotian took Arab News behind the scenes at his glamour-filled atelier to find out more about his creative process.

After working in the creative department for renowned Lebanese designer Elie Saab, Jabotian was handpicked by the Beirut-based Starch foundation to showcase his own line and eventually set up his own atelier at the tender age of 23.

Now, the rising star is known for his wild imagination, beautifully structured gowns and growing list of celebrity fans — including Queen Rania of Jordan.

“I’ve always been driven by the classical period and the Renaissance is the rebirth of the classical world,” Jabotian told Arab News of the inspiration behind his work.  

“For me, I always go back to classicism because it is the base of any conception of any design. I always go back in time and draw inspiration from that period and try to deconstruct it and reconstruct something that is inspired from that but in a more modern, contemporary way.”

With ethereal ruffles and cascading tulle, Jabotian is known for his flair and fairy-like glamour and offers up structured gowns that wouldn’t look out of place in the palaces of a bygone era. Yet, importantly, he manages to pay tribute to the past without straying into the realm of costume-like attire, straddling the line between couture and historical homage with finesse.

Jabotian, whose Beirut atelier was impacted by the Aug. 4 explosion in the Lebanese capital, has faced unforeseeable hurdles this year, but told Arab News it gave him time to reflect on his craft.

“With COVID-19, with all that happened in the world and all the drama that we have been dealing with, it’s important for us to take a step back and to enjoy the slow process of life levering quality over quantity and just doing things the right way — doing things with ethics,” he said.

The designer helms a team of 49 people in his atelier — from a talented petites mains, or seamstress, in her 60s, to his own mother — and it isn’t difficult to understand why they are drawn to the humble young talent.

“What’s interesting about our line of work is that you keep on learning from your mistakes. So, my aim is to always become a better version of myself,” he concluded.  


Feet first: Egyptian footwear label blends style and comfort

Updated 22 October 2020

Feet first: Egyptian footwear label blends style and comfort

DUBAI: They say “beauty is pain,” but not for Egyptian footwear label Zee.

The brand’s designs combine comfort and style, making its offerings suitable for settings ranging from edgy and urban life to laid-back for the seaside.

Noureldin Kassem, Zee’s founder, said: “It’s really important to be stylish and comfortable. For us being comfortable is very important, and this is why we used a lot of new materials, like different kinds of leather, and made adjustments to the sandals.”

Brave New World, the brand’s latest collection, draws its inspiration partly from Greco-Roman culture, Kassem told Arab News. 

The collection includes 25 styles in a range of bold and bright designs, featuring sandals and slides to suit a wide range of women’s tastes.

Zee, which was established three years ago, is a sustainable brand that is produced in Egypt, but outsources its materials, such as cork soles, from Spain.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sway with ease in your Zees. Shot and styled by @keghamdjeghalian #MakeZeeMoves #ZeeSteps #ZeeBraveNewWorld #Zee

A post shared by Zee (@zee_officialeg) on

“Sustainability is taking a big share of the market now,” Kassem said.

To make the brand more environmentally friendly, Zee’s packaging now includes pouches made of recycled material made in collaboration with eco-friendly Egyptian fashion brand Up-Fuse. 

Kassem said that while many well-established fashion brands are fighting to survive during the coronavirus pandemic, Zee is taking risks and rebranding itself. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Stand tall in your Zee-Bomba X #MakeZeeMoves #ZeeSteps #ZeeBraveNewWorld #ZeeByKegham #ZeeBombaX #Zee

A post shared by Zee (@zee_officialeg) on

Amid plans for a possible launch of trainers or heels, Zee’s team is working on designing sneakers, which better fit the “persona and identity of the brand.”

Kassem also praised his team, including creative director Kegham Djeghalian, for doing “a great job during this difficult period.”